This weekend, I was flying back to Missouri from seeing family in S.C. I starting talking to the girl beside me. We actually knew people in common. She told me about SingleMomzRock, and I found your site this morning. I have sat here at my desk at work and laughed, cried and been overjoyed at seeing there is this group that I have searched for, for years!! I looked at the FB posts, and oh my gosh can I relate! THANK YOU for starting this. I had no idea it existed!!
I went to my first SMR meeting one day after I found out I was going to be a single mom. My friend invited me to go with her and I didn't really want to go but I did for my friend. Walking into that room was a strange and overwhelming experience. I felt like my whole identity changed in that second. I was "coming out" as a single mom. The support I received at SMR was immediate. That first year while I struggled with my new identity, the mechanics of the divorce, and all the emotions that go with it, I had other women praying and struggling right with me, mentors who had already lived through it, and even brand new, terrified single moms like I was in my first meeting. Another aspect of SMR that touched me is the care that was given to my children. Most single mom's groups in my opinion almost treat the kids like an after thought. They may be given some snacks and babysat during the meeting, but barely tolerated. SMR treasures my children. They are given a "fancy dinner" (the words of my ten year old), and a wonderful night with Christian teaching and fun activities. It's hard to tell who loved going to SMR more, me or my kids! When others in society treat these kids like a nuisance it is deeply healing to have them treated with kindness. This last year with the support of SMR and other resources, I have moved on from the identity of "Single Mom" and I am now moving onto "Healthy Mom".
Last night, I had the honor of sharing my story with a group of single moms. More than 2 years ago, my mom connected with a wonderful woman who runs a program here, and our first Christmas in our new home was wonderful because of her. I was able to give presents to my kids that I couldn't have afforded, and they gave me presents. Over the course of time, my mom kept her up to date of all my accomplishments and she continued praying for my success. They both wanted me to be more involved with the group, but because I was either working and in school or working 2 jobs, I didn't have the time to fit it in. Then a few weeks ago, one of my instructors from college asked me to speak for a group... She wanted me to share my story and encourage other moms. Unbeknownst to me, it was for the same woman, who at that point I still hadn't met, who'd been praying for me all this time.
After I spoke last night, Janelle described it as a "God thing" that we had met after so long. I am so thankful that I met her and am now involved with the group. And I am so thankful for my mother, for continuously praying for and encouraging me, for loving and caring for my children, and for always supporting me. I am so thankful for my instructor who was my cheerleader all through school and believed in me. These 3 women played a huge role in my life, one of them being behind the scenes the entire time.
It totally is a God thing when you can connect with people who shape your life.
When I was 18, I found myself to be a single homeless teen mom. I was raised in an abusive home until I was 12 and when I was 12, I was placed into foster care. I ran away from my foster home when I was 16 due to very bad circumstances and because I had no family I could turn to, I ended up on the streets. On the streets, I found a peer group who accepted me and who, I now realize, were not good people. My friends then helped me find abandoned houses and other places to sleep and we looked out for each other. I was introduced to meth by one of my friends and started using meth at the age of 17. I met my daughter’s biological father while we were homeless when I was 17. Her biological dad and I would find abanoned homes to sleep in. When we got pregnant, we were sleeping in an abandon dog shed and we continued living on the streets until I was 3 months pregnant. The majority of my old friends did not keep their babies and just let them go to foster care and they continued using drugs.
I quit meth and even cigarettes when I found out I was pregnant. I almost miscarried my daughter due to the stressful enviornment and withdrawals from drugs. I decided when I was 3 months pregnant to go into a homeless shelter to try to have a safer pregnancy even though I knew my daughter’s dad could not go with me because it was for women only. I applied for low income housing apartments while living in the homeless shelter and when I was 5 months pregnant a project apartment became avaliable and me and my daughter’s dad moved in. It was during this time my daughter’s dad became increasingly abusive. It started with subtle insults then turned into him punching a wall or breaking something to scare me when he got mad, then he began beating me. I wanted to try so hard to stay together for our daughter that I put up with the abuse. I also found child pornography on his computer. When I was 9 months pregnant and 2 days from being induced, my daughter’s dad attempted to stab our baby in my stomach and beat me up until I saw black. I told him to leave and I got a restraining order the day before I had my daughter. I went into the hospital alone with bruises on me. When I had my daughter, I looked into her eyes and knew I was strong enough to fight and give up everything that I’ve ever known to do it on my own. We lived in the project apartment for a year and a half after that and I got a job and enrolled in school full time. When my daughter was 18 months old, I purchased our first home. I have done it completely on my own. Without SingleMomzRock, I would never have had a positive support group or such a loving one. They have given me encouragement and inspiration when all odds were against me. My daughter is now 2 and I am so grateful to have found SingleMomzRock.
I heard about SingleMomzRock on 88.3 The Wind about the mother's day picnic. I really debated whether to go out or not because I'm terrified of new people and places. I, at that time, had been out of a domestic violence situation for about a year and didn't really trust anyone. I decided to go anyway because I truly felt God telling me to go. I'm glad I listened. I've been to almost every meeting and event since, and this group has truly been a blessing to me and my son. Having other women and that understand where I've been and what I'm going through is priceless. Thank you!
As a new single mom and all the emotional stresses that go along with it, I can't imagine my life right now without this non-judgmental group of friends we call family. The resources, support and fun activities we do as a group remind me that I am not alone. As friends for life we will grow and thrive building Godly relationships in the community of single moms. So blessed.
In November 2015, I was totally feeling like no one could identify what I was going through based on experience. I had met Janelle in person and later found SingleMomzRock. It was the first time I did not need to put on a brave face and knew I was safe. I knew I did not need to say one word about what I was going through. Not one mom asked me. It helped that I have a friend who is going through a similar tough time who was able to go with me to the first meeting. The soup and the sweet tea were sweet to my soul. We were challenged to make some savings goal, no matter how tiny. The next get together was to create Christmas ornaments. I sat with another friend from church. I again felt safe with all of these new moms. I just went to a Love & Logic video night. It is always fun to read, watch and discuss fun new parenting strategies. The camaraderie was huge! I know I am going through transformation and there are many other moms walking through it together with me! Thank you SingleMomzRock!
SingleMomzRock has been such a blessing to me in just the short time I have had the opportunity to be involved. As a single mom we face many struggles; time management, loneliness, financial hardships, childcare issues. I had been in women’s groups before but they didn’t understand the aspect of figuring it all out on my own, playing dual roles as mommy and daddy. The ladies in SingleMomzRock understand, they are encouraging and uplifting, they pray together and learn from one another…they understand the struggles. They make it easier to see where we get help and education like a car clinic, home repair clinic, landscaping... etc. They help us see God is still with us on days we question it because you feel the burden is getting too heavy. The ladies of this group are God’s angels here on earth and I’m very proud to be part of this amazing group. We can laugh together, cry together, pray together… this group is truly a blessing!